Fall is arriving in the Berkshires and I want to get out on my SUP for as long as possible so I’m looking at some season extending paddling clothes.I feel like this is the first summer in a while where I am feeling sad that the season is ending. I’m usually just pumped for it to be closer to winter, but this year buying a Stand Up Paddle-board and spending lot’s of time on lakes, it’s feeling bittersweet.
My picks, in order of cool, cooler, coolest:
Cool-The Seea Play Suit.
I actually have been wearing this all season on cooler days and on days where I feel like my skin is starting to turn to leather. No matter how much sun block I use, at a certain point I just get ridiculously tan. Additionally, they hide my crazy shorts tan!
I learned about Seea from one of my favorite surf shop’s Instagram feed (Cinnamon Rainbow’s) and when Seea was having a sale I scooped up some of their suits this year. I’m in love with Seea’s designs and you will too if you love vintage inspired suits. These suits are designed for surfers so they have flat straps and they are snug so they stay on. They’re wickedly stylish and I love that they use real women athletes as models.
The Seea Play Suit is lined on the bottom so I generally still wear a bathing suit top under it for support. There is no built in bra. The shorts are lined and not at all see through. There is a zipper up the back with a long zipper pull like a wet suit would have. Overall, I really like it. It’s very cute and a can move around very comfortably. The only drawback I’ve found is that on me the bottoms ride up, so to stay flattering, I have to pull them down every now and again. I’m not sure if that’s just something to do with my own body and the fit. Otherwise the fit is good. I purchased a Large. In general, I’m a medium on top and a 8/1o bottom. My other wish for Seaa was that they made more larger sizes. They only have XS-L and say on their site that there suits run small and to size up.
Cooler-Prana Rai Swim Tights
They’ve done it! Yoga pants made out of bathing suit material! How cool is that! Again, this is great for cooler weather, sun protection and days you just want more coverage. Enter the Rai Swim Tight.
I’ve been a huge fan of Prana’s clothing for years. For one, I love their sustainability commitment. Secondly, I think they’re styles are smart and on point for the outdoor lifestyle. Most of their products go from lifestyle to outdoors and are super versatile. When they added swimwear to their line up, I was pretty stoked.
So like I said, these swim tights are made from swimsuit material and are SPF 50+. You can’t tell from the pictures but one thing I really like about this is the wide flat seam waistline. That way if you wear a bikini top there’s no cutting in on my soft belly parts. I ordered a Large. Generally go between an 8 and a 10 for Prana’s pants. I always read their online reviews carefully when it comes to sizing because they aren’t always consistent. I decided to go a size up based on that. At first when I wore these, I felt like I was constantly pulling them up but then, I realized a hidden elastic drawstring. That made my day! Once I tied the drawstring tighter, the fit was great! These also have a small zip pocket on the back of the waistband that you could stowe a car key in.
On a colder day, I’d wear these with a warm long sleeve top made of polypro or calipene. These are really great for SUP yoga as well.
Coolest- Prana Ara Swim Tight
I actually bought these by accident and decided to keep them. I thought I was buying pants made of the swim suit fabric but did not read the description very carefully. The Ara Swim Tights are made from a blend of spandex and neoprene. With the sale price I got these for, it was an incredible value and now I’m ready to wade into the water once the temps really cool off.
You can tell by this picture that these tights have some thickness to them. Like the Rai swim tight they also have a convenient back pocket with a key loop that is visible in this picture. On the website they recommend sizing up so again, I went with a large on these. When dry, there’s a little bit of wiggling that goes on to get them on and in the right place, but once I’m in the water the fit feels good. The waistband is wide and flat which keeps it flattering and from cutting in.
I haven’t really had too much wetsuit experience, but I can tell you one thing, when you walk into the water you barely feel it. Very cool! These are constructed from 1mm neoprene so I’m hoping they will take me into late October, maybe longer if I add some booties or neoprene socks. I guess it just depends on how quickly the weather changes this year. On a side note, they also make this in a short, which I bought (on purpose) and have been wearing this summer and like the fit and high waist. (you can see me wearing it in my Werner Paddle review post)